Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Toy Storage

For a great variety of toy storage, go to I'm An Organizing Junkie's fabulous blog detailing all sorts of cute kid's storage - complete with pictures! Just click the title above.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Need a Family Checklist for Your Summer Travel?

Are you planning to travel this summer? Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie has created a Family Checklist to streamline packing for the whole family. Take a look at it by clicking the title above. While you're there, take a look around her site for some great ideas and bargains!

I have put a list on my computer for myself when I travel, but Laura has made a chart with spaces for several family members. It's in PDF form so you can save it onto your computer.

What do you do that makes travelling easier for you and you family?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clutter in Your House or Office Means Clutter in Your Mind

We have been getting torrential rains here in northeast Ohio lately - heavy downpours that dump a lot of water in a short amount of time.

Remember our neighbor's prolific maple tree producing millions of little helicopters? Not only does it mean that I'm constantly pulling little maple trees out of my garden, but they filled our gutters.

Combine that with the rain and we had a waterfall in one location which leaked into our basement. Ugh!

So what does all this have to do with clutter?

The water leaked into our office, which is in the basement. We had to pull the carpet up and run fans to dry it out, cut the padding and dry it out, and move furniture around to accomodate this area. So, we had an entertainment center in the middle of the room, one chair stacked on another, and other items out of place.

My husband, who can usually put up with a fair amount of clutter said he couldn't even function in that room because of all the clutter! I realize my example might be extreme, but the general principle is true - when our surroundings are in chaos, it's hard for our minds not to be chaotic as well. When we have too much visual stimuli we don't know where to focus.

Do you have a room like that - too much visual stimuli? Be kind to yourself - start in one corner or start with one surface and declutter. Save the drawers and closets till later - when you have clean surfaces, you will be motivated to tackle the hidden places.

Notice the satisfaction, peace and calm that comes from having uncluttered, nonchaotic surroundings. It makes you smile! And your productivity increases because you can focus on the task at hand without being distracted by the clutter.

Our office is now back in order other than having someone come back to reconnect the carpet. But it is functional for the moment. What a difference in our mindsets from a few days ago! If you are overwhelmed and don't know where to begin, get a kickstart from our Three Steps to Decluttering. Just click the title above.

Our hearts go out to those who are having to put their lives back together after the floods in the midwest. Our litle problem is insignificant in comparison!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Organizing Your Ribbon

Are you a crafter? Have lots of ribbon? You must check out a blog called Stamp with Shelly (click the title above). The title of the post is "Confessions of a Ribbon Addict."

Shelly has taken drawers of ribbon and organized them on one device that spins. Not only does she hang her ribbon on it, but embroidery thread, stickers, and other items. She has them available and accessible at a glance! And what a space saver!

You have to see it to appreciate it - she has pictures showing the process and the final product.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A New Survey - Give Me Your Opinions

In order to meet your needs, I want to hear from you! I've put a new survey on my blog - about half-way down the left side. Tell me what you're most interested in when it comes to organizing your time or space.

There are several categories to choose from and you can choose more than one category. If what you want doesn't appear on the list, email me at Bev@1-2-3GetOrganized.com. Or leave a comment - just click "comments" below this post and tell me what's on your mind.

Don't forget that you can sign up to receive my blogs in your email inbox. Just enter your name and email address in the subscription form right below my picture. You can be assured we will never sell or otherwise abuse your information.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Center'd Planning Website

How I wish this site were up and going when I was planning our family vacation with my parents, my siblings and their children a few months ago! Or when I was planning the women's retreat for our church! If you do a lot of planning of events, this site is for you - whether it's a meeting, a conference, a funraiser for your child's school, a vacation, or a night out with friends.

Center'd offers you the following:

- You can post different options for the people in your group to vote on - location, time, what you're going to do, etc.
- You can locate entertainment, restaurants, or items of interest in a location of your choice.
- It provides a place for people to sign up for various jobs for the event you are planning.
- Everyone can see at a glance what's going on without you having to send multiple emails to everyone.

I haven't used it yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so.

Let me know what you think of it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Little Humor for the Weekend

A friend sent this to me from an unknown source:


I actually kept my mammogram appointment. I was met with, "Hi! I'm Belinda!" This perky clipboard carrier smiled from ear to ear, tilted her head to one side and crooned, "All I need you to do is step into this room right here, strip to the waist, then slip on this gown. Everything clear?"

I'm thinking, "Belinda, try decaf. This ain't rocket science."

Belinda skipped away to prepare the chamber of horrors.

With the right side finished, Belinda flipped me (literally) to the left and said, "Hmmmm. Can you stand on your tippy toes and lean in a tad so we can get everything?"

"Fine," I answered. I was freezing, bruised, and out of air, so why not use the remaining circulation in my legs and neck and finish me off?

My body was in a holding pattern that defied gravity (with my other boob wedged between those two 4 inch pieces of square glass) when we heard, then felt a zap! Complete darkness and the power went off!

"Oh, maintenance is working. Bet they hit a snag." Belinda headed for the door.

"Excuse me! You're not leaving me in this vise alone are you?" I shouted.

Belinda kept going and said, "Oh, you fussy puppy...the door's wide open so you'll have the emergency hall lights. I'll be right back."

Before I could shout "NOOOO!" she disappeared.

And that's exactly how Bubba and Earl, maintenance men extraordinaire, found me, half-naked and part of me dangling from the Jaws of Life, and the other part smashed between glass!

After exchanging polite "Hi, how's it going" type greetings, Bubba (or possibly Earl) asked, to my utter disbelief, if I knew the power was off.

Trying to disguise my hysteria, I replied with as much calmness as possible "Uh, yes, yes I did thanks."

"You bet, take care" Bubba replied and waved good-bye as though I'd been standing in the line at the grocery store.

Two hours later, Belinda breezes in wearing a sheepish grin. Making no attempt to suppress her amusement, she said, "Oh I am sooo sorry!" The power came back on and I totally forgot about you! And silly me, I went to lunch. Are we upset?"

And that, Your Honor, is exactly how her head ended up between the clamps....

Friday, June 20, 2008

An Intentional Summer for Your Kids

Rather than enduring through the summer, make it intentional! If your children are old enough, have them think through some goals for themselves over the summer. These could includes the following categories: physical, social, financial, vocational, spiritual, educational, mental, artistic, musical, and life skills.

If you have grade school children, you may need to talk about this with them. If your children are younger, think through the areas that would apply to your small children and come up with ways you'd like to see them grow over the summer. With our teenagers, we let them decide their own goals. Some of them included losing weight, expressing anger appropriately, speaking gentle words instead of harsh words, saving money for a car, learning how to manage money, and making new friends.

Some ideas for each category:

- Physical: eating nutritionally, running a mile in a certain time, learning a new sport, swimming lessons, care of hair and skin, an athletic camp, honing athletic skills, riding a bicycle/tricycle, fine motor skills, etc.

- Social: table manners, fun ideas for dates, sharing, please and thank you, not interrupting, telephone etiquette, how to be a good conversationalist, how to be a good friend, how to protect yourself on a date, what to do if your friends want you to do something you shouldn't, etc.

- Financial: saving, tithing, budgeting, opening a checking or savings account, investments, generosity, etc.

- Vocational: shadowing someone in a field of interest, researching a profession, field trip, internship, volunteer work, getting a job, how to interview, how to write a resume, how to fill out a job application, etc.

- Spiritual: vacation Bible school, memory verses, prayer, how to study the Bible, seeing God in nature, how to know God, restoring your relationship with God when you've blown it, finding a church you like, joining a youth group, etc.

- Educational: brushing up on needy subjects, summer school, work sheets, college visits, thinking through a major, keyboarding or computer skills, how to study, how to take a test, how to take notes, learning the alphabet or numbers or colors, learning how to read, etc.

- Mental: learning more about an interest, field trips, logic exercises, games, challenge programs, learning skills, memory techniques, time management, etc.

- Artistic: art lessons or classes, art time for drawing, etc., crafts, woodworking, sewing, jewelry, cartoons, knit, crochet, etc.

- Musical: lessons, learning a new instrument, concerts, symphonies, outdoor music programs, voice lessons, choir, band, camp, etc.

Life Skills: changing a tire, setting the table, ironing, mending, tying shoes, folding clothes, laundry, how to plan balanced meals, cooking, how to use household appliances, cleaning up toys, how to make a bed, etc.

Hope I gave you some food for thought. Tell me about your intentional plans for the summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Organizing Your Kid's Room

Summertime is a great time to rethink your kid's room - no matter what age your child is. If your child is old enough to be involved, do it together. He/she will understand the system and be more likely to maintain it.

You'll want to purge, make the room functional based on your child's interests, and create a system. The hardest part is setting aside time each day for your child to maintain the system.

If your child has lots of little items, an inexpensive way to house them is in plastic see-through shoe boxes you can buy at the dollar store. He/she can label them or draw a picture to identify the contents of each shoe box. The shoe boxes can stack neatly on shelves. And the shoe boxes make the contents portable!

If you need help creating functional areas or maximizing space for kids, our Three Steps to Organizing Your Child's Room (http://1-2-3getorganized.com./books.html) will get your idea juices flowing!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Increasing Your Effectiveness at Work

There are a number of things you can do to stay at your peak effectiveness during your work day. Experiment with the following:

- Take the breaks your employer offers to you. Go for a walk, go outside, climb a few flights of stairs - move! Just a few minutes of change refreshes your mind and your body.

- Multi-tasking is over-rated. It seems that all the hype about multi-tasking over the last few years has proven to be bad advice. The studies I've read recently show that people who concentrate on their task at hand do it more quickly and more effectively than those who multi-task.

Doing a couple of tasks requiring little concentration is always a time saver - just make sure you don't sacrifice quality for "efficiency." If you have to redo a task, it's not saving you time.

- Create boundaries for yourself. Don't volunteer to help someone else at the expense of your own duties. Don't let others waste your time. If you are in a noisy area, close your door or wear headphones to reduce sound if it's acceptable in your workplace. Go to a different location to work in quiet if possible.

- Eat. If you are running low on fuel, you will not be able to function properly. Have a healthy snack during your breaks.

- Drink. Keep yourself hydrated. Our well-known coffee cafes make their coffee three to four times stronger than regular coffee, and if you get a specialty coffee it's loaded with sugar. Stop for one on the way to work, and expect your energy to crash in a couple of hours as the caffeine and sugar wear off. Better to have some green tea. Or water!

If you need more help with time management at the office or organizing your office efficiently, see our books on those topics. Here's a link: http://1-2-3getorganized.com./books.html

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Refill Time

For those of you looking at the long expanse of summer wondering how you're going to have any time to yourself, think "refill time." This is something I've planned into our summer plans with our foster children this year.

Refill time is when everyone goes to their rooms and has some quiet time to themselves. Depending on the age of the child, this could includ reading, drawing, coloring, listening to music, journaling, playing a game, doing a puzzle, doing a word puzzle, playing quietly with toys - whatever refills them.

If your children are small, you will likely need to start with very short times, five to ten minutes for example. You can increase it over time, depending on the age of your children. Our girls are teenagers, and we try to take from one to two hours of refill time daily. It doesn't always work, but that's my goal.

Some of them have embraced it heartily. Others endure it and can't wait until it's over so they can be with people again!

With small children, you may need to show them what they can do during refill time. You can set the timer, or if they can tell time, show them when their refill time is up. The idea is to teach your children how to spend time by themselves, that it's ok to plan in quiet alone time in their schedules, and to give you time to yourself to refill.

What do you do to refill yourself?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Passing My Savings On To You - Lower Prices for My Books

I am no longer using a distributor and selling strictly from my website, which reduces my expenses. So I thought I'd pass my savings on to you!

- My books will now be $6.99 (Decluttering, Organizing Your Kitchen, Organizing Your Office, Organizing Your Child's Room, Time Management for the Office, Clever Cleaning, and Time Management for the Stay-at-Home Mom)

- My workbooks will now be $16.99 (Time Management, Planning Dinner, Downsizing to a Smaller Residence, Planning Your Child's Parties, Time Management for the College Student, Time Management for the Working Mom, Time Management for the Single Mom, Managing Your Time, Energy and Clutter with Application to Multiple Sclerosis

- Hassle Free Dinners CD will now be $16.99 (52 weeks of dinner menus, instructions, and grocery lists + lots more)

- My ebooks will remain at $5.99.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Container Store's Travel Sale with Free Shipping

Just in time for summer travel! The Container Store - one of my favorite stores of all time - has loads of travel items on sale. And to make it even sweeter, they are offering free shipping, too.

My favorite on the list is the turquoise lap top bag. There are also travel organizers, cute luggage tags and straps, car organizers, and more.

Just thought you'd like to know about this great deal! Just click the title to see the entire assortment.

Keeping Your Memory Sharp

A couple of days I watched a segment by Diane Sawyer on ABC News (www.abcnews.go.com) about keeping your memory sharp by exercising your brain. It's called neurobics. While regular exercise is important to our brain function, exercise specifically related to our brain is key.

How does this relate to organizing? We need all the help we can get to keep ourselves organized! By keeping our brains flexible and exercised, we stay sharp and ward off Alzheimer's.

Here are a few suggestions Marie Savard, ABC's medical consultant, offered to Diane.

1. Create new motor pathways in your brain by using your less dominant hand to do ordinary functions, like brushing your teeth, punching in the numbers on your phone, etc.

2. Close your eyes when doing ordinary activities and experience your other senses - smell, taste, feel, hearing.

3. Play games to increase your cognitive ability.

4. Create novelty in your life - learn something new, go a different route to work, change chairs at dinner, go down a street you've never driven down.

5. Make sure you get Omega 3 in your diet either through foods or capsule form.

Dr. Savard also mentioned avoiding four behaviors that start with S: sleep deprivation, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and stress. Did you know that stress reduces your brain function? Yikes!!

Some valuable information to chew on!

What do you do to relieve your stress?

Friday, June 13, 2008


Somehow I messed up the link to the Cozi site. It's www.cozi.com. Sorry!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cozi 2.0

Remember my reviews of time management organizing systems? One of those was Cozi, a free online program. Cozi has just rolled out its 2.0 version. Here is what they say are the upgrades:

- "Quicker and easier than ever to use. Sign in from any computer with Internet access. No downloads required. (To see all the new features and for the best experience, we recommend the following web browsers: Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox.)

- Full of features you've been asking for.

Try the new month calendar view and month printing.

We think you'll also enjoy the new family journal which is designed for busy families to jot down moments and memories they don't want to forget.

Plus, there's a recipe search in Cozi lists that helps make your grocery trips more efficient.

- Getting better, faster than ever. Enjoy immediate access to new features without having to download new software."

If you're looking for a new way to manage your time, I recommend Cozi as a great option! Click on the title above to be taken to their site.

What time management system do you and why?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Managing Invasive Herbs

Better Homes and Gardens (http://www.bhg.com) offers some tips for preventing your mint or other invasive herbs (tansy, catnip, comfrey, horseradish, lemon balm, hops, artemisia) from taking over your garden. A couple of ideas:

- Plant them in 12-inch pots and place the pots in the ground so that they are not seen. The pots keep the roots from running, which is how they normally spread.

- Plant them in large planters or half-barrels.

You may want to plant a different variety in each pot or planter.

The only invasive herb I have experience with is mint - my mint patch started out with just two or three plants three years ago, and now it has grown to a three foot by 2 foot rectangle. It is bordered by our house and a sidewalk on two sides, so its growth potential is limited. But the area where it is growing is rather unused, so we really don't mind it spreading. I love being able to walk out my side door and pick mint leaves for our herbal mint iced tea each day.

I know I shared this recipe before, but it's worth repeating. I collect a generous handful of both spearmint and peppermint. After rinsing off the leaves, I pour boiling water over them in a mug. I let it steep - the longer the better - and add about 3/8 to 1/2 cup of sugar for 1/2 gallon. It's so refreshing in hot weather! We take it to drink when we play tennis - far more refreshing than water.

Mint's abundance allows you to share your leaves or your plants with your friends and family. One of my next door neighbors now has a planter full of mint that she grew from some sprigs from our garden.

Did you know that mint is soothing and calming? And in olden days, a girl would chew a mint leaf before her beau came to call, to freshen her breath. And, of course, mint can be used in a variety of recipes.

Need Some Additional Counter or Cabinet Space without Having to Redo Your Kitchen?

Short on counter or cabinet space? If so, consider getting a rolling kitchen cart rather than going through the headache and expense of redoing your kichen. Or use as a stop-gap until you redo your kitchen, if that's in your plans. Kitchen carts come in a variety of colors, sizes, materials, and prices. All you need is a little extra space in your kitchen.

My favorite is this red one (my favorite color!) from StacksandStacks. It is not your mother's kitchen cart! It's so pretty, it would make a beautiful addition to any kitchen.

This particular rolling cart comes in black, red, natural, and oak. You also have a choice of counter tops: wood, granite in a variety of colors, or stainless steel. What a nice way to expand your kitchen without the headaches! For more options and info, click: Kitchen Cart with Granite Top - White

Monday, June 9, 2008

Saving Time by Cutting Out Craft Clean Up

As you can imagine with teenage foster girls, we do a lot of crafts in the summertime. My organizing business is necessarily minimized so I can spend time with the girls while they are out of school.

This week we are painting terra cotta flower pots. We had to spray a sealer on them before painting. I grabbed my Glad Press 'n Seal and covered my patio table with it before spraying - no clean up!

It's been in the 90s this week, so we brought the flower pots inside to paint. Even though we have a white plastic craft table, I decided to cover that as well so we wouldn't have to be continually wiping up paint. Since we must do several coats, we have just left the Press 'n Seal on the table until our project is finished.

I'm so glad this idea popped into my head - what a time saver!

Do you have similar "light bulb moments" you'd like to share with us? We'd love to hear them!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Save Time, Energy, and Money - How to Spot Scams

Whether you're searching for a work-from-home job or a new marketing tool or a new kitchen gadget, beware of internet scams, according to the Better Business Bureau. The internet is fertile soil for the growing number of scams.

How to be a savvy researcher:

- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Promises of huge income or amazing benefits to you are probably not typical. The fine print on diet program ads showing before and after results, says "results are not typical." This could easily be the theme song for most of these promotions.

- If a business opportunity requires you to send money before explaining exactly what the opportunity is about, watch out! Many of the popular ones are stuffing envelopes, putting together craft items, and doing medical data entry.

- Avoid multi-level marketing that concentrates on recruitment rather than selling products. Multi-level marketing of actual products, usually at home parties can be legitimate and income-producing. But when a commission is paid for recruiting new members for your downline and quality products are not the central focus of the business, walk the other way!

- Check with the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org) before shelling out any money.

- Www.scambusters.org also checks out both online and offline businesses to test validity.

- Never sign on the dotted line during a high-pressured meeting or promotion. Take time to consider and research.

- Pay attention to your gut feelings - if you feel uneasy about an opportunity, don't move forward.

- If you're a woman looking for work-from-home opportunities, go to Homebased Working Moms (http://www.hbwm.com) or Women for Hire (http://www.womenforhire.com).

Source: Shine from Yahoo! June 1, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Schedule Daily Clean Up Times

Overwhelmed by the vision of your house exploding with clutter over the summer? Especially if you are a stay-at-home mom or dad with small children!

It always made me a little less crazy just knowing that we had three times scheduled to clean up: before lunch, before dinner, and before bed. When our children were small, we had naptime right after lunch, so there was a lengthy time that everything stayed neat and tidy! And it really helped my state of mind to get up in the morning and see everything in place.

If you work outside the home, clean up time may be just once or twice - a time to clean up the common areas and a time to clean up individual bedrooms. During clean up of common rooms, have everyone pick up what they've messed up and return their possessions which belong in other places. By making bedroom clean up part of your bedtime routine, it may be possible to keep the mess under control! Set a time limit so it won't seem to be endless for your children or so it won't encourage stalling.

You may want to have a toy limit - only three toys out at the same time, for example. Or you may want to designate certain areas where certain toys can be used - specific toys for the family room, outside, the bedroom - and they are not to be carried to other parts of the house. Whatever system you want to live with.

You can make clean up time fun by setting a timer or having a race to see how many items each person can put away. Count as you go to teach your child her numbers. Or have one child pick up anything that has red on it, another anything that has blue on it - of course that will probably turn into a battle!! Can we never win?

Or turn on some fun music and dance or do crazy moves while cleaning up. Or make everyone walk backwards to put the toys away. Or use commercials during your favorite TV show to do clean up. Be creative!

The key is taking 10-15 minutes two or three times a day to keep clutter under control. When it piles up, it gets overwhelming. If it's already overwhelming, start with your two or three clean up times and add another one if possible. Start small and keep working at it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Planning Dinner

Today I planned the schedule for the nine days we will host one group of our foster girls. We have three houses of teenage girls who come to our home one week each month respectively. This particular house has two girls. They are out of school now and we hope to have lots of fun together! I gave them a list of options to choose from - places to go, things to do at home, crafts, exercise, and goals they have for themselves this summer.

After scheduling in the activities we plan to do, I determined which meals we would have on which days. I looked at the weather to determine which would be good grilling days, which day we'll take a picnic to hear music in the park, etc.

I had already planned a menu for them last week, taking into consideration their likes and dislikes and foods which are in season. I looked through my Hassle Free Dinners CD, a year's worth of dinner menus, instructions and grocery lists which is organized according to date, and chose several summertime salads to serve.

When we grill lemon chicken, we'll grill some extra chicken for some of the salads. Summertime is a great time for a spiral ham - we'll have some ham for dinner tonight and use some for sandwiches, a calzone, and picnics during the week. I'll cook green beans one night for dinner and the leftovers will appear in a salad another night.

The key is planning ahead - using my strawberries early in the week while they are still fresh, cooking extra for meals later in the week, and shopping only once a week because I planned! I tried to vary meals - alternating the salads with grilling and alternating chicken, ham and hamburgers. It provides a little interest and change.

If you need some help planning dinner, my Three Steps to Planning Dinner workbook includes hints for making the most out of your time in the kitchen so you don't have to spend any more time cooking than is necessary. It also has some of my favorite recipes - most of them quick and easy. And there's a section for starting a recipe book of your own favorites.

I love providing tasty, quick and nutritious meals for our "family". And once my planning and shopping are done, I don't have to experience that nightly dilemna of figuring out what to have for dinner!! I have my meals scheduled on my calendar and all the ingredients I need in order to prepare them.

A couple of huge extras: the money (and nutrition!) saved by not eating out/getting take-out and the time saved by not stopping at the grocery store seveal times a week.

What are your secrets for putting dinner on the table every night?

P. S. Both Hassle Free Dinners and Three Steps to Planning Dinner are available at http://www.1-2-3getorganized.com/.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I've Been Interviewed by 5 Minutes for Mom!

I've been interviewed by 5 Minutes for Mom! Please check it out at:

While you're there, check out their fabulous and loaded website!

Using Your Snow Shovel Year Round - Another Gardening Tip

My husband wanted me to pass this gardening tip along to you - to save time and your back! He uses his snow shovel as you would a dustpan when sweeping or raking. Since the snow shovel has a long handle, you don't have to bend over. Just sweep or rake your yard waste into the snow shovel and dump your debris into the recycling bag!

We have had an incredible number of maple tree "helicopters" this year and have had to sweep them off the sidewalks and driveway and remove them from the garden before they become a forrest of maple trees. As we get older, the ground seems a lot farther away, and this snow shovel trick is perfect! Works in the fall when raking leaves, too. For those of you who don't get snow and don't own a snow shovel, it might be worth the investment - if you can buy them!

I wonder why these helicopters are so profuse this year?

Have your discovered ways to garden while being kind to your body at the same time? Please pass on your wisdom!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tips from a Master Gardener - Watering, Mulch

My master gardener friend had a tip this morning for watering the lawn. She said that lawns need about an inch of rain each week. If you haven't gotten that much rain, water gently in the morning.

She also said that you can use newspapers as mulch. Just place two or three sheets of newspaper where you would normally use mulch. You may need to weight it down. Recycling in your own garden!

What are your gardening tips and tricks? We'd love to hear them!